Why I don't use an iPhone

Other Apple Chat
I realise posting this in a very much Apple oriented site could be quite controversial. But, I figured I might as well, to see what people think. Before we get to the main topic though, some backstory. When the iPhone 3GS came out in 2009, I, like pretty much everyone else was very impressed. The reality was however that I didn’t really have money to get one ($30/month contracts aren’t exactly cheep considering I was paying about $10-15 at the time.). Time passed, and eventually I got an iPod touch. Not surprisingly I fell in love with it. A few months later I again tried to go for an iPhone, and again couldn’t because of its price and had to settle for another Nokia. A month after I got it, said company announced the move to Windows phone… and the rest is history. Either way, I was meanwhile watching the advancements of Android accessibility, having listened to Mike Arigo’s very in-depth podcast. I didn’t really give Android much thought though, until the release of Ice cream sandwich and news that the xperia pro, which had a keyboard and stats comparable to an iPhone 4,would be receiving it. So, in Late june of 2012, I got one. A few days later, I managed to lose my iPod touch I did get a new one, but it’s very much a secondary device. And now, we finally get to the main point of this already pretty long post. So how does my workflow look like? The iPod is very much multimedia device. I use it for mostly games and all the music creation apps, and reading books. Everything else gets offloaded to my current phone, a Galaxy S4. Why don’t I see an iPhone in my near or even distant future? A few reasons. First, hardware. All of the iPhones are seriously overpriced. 600 dollars for a device that has a dual core CPU and a gig of ram? No thanks. The aforementioned S4 cost me $60 less, and it has a quad core CPU at 1.9GHZ and 2GB ram, plus a user serviceable battery and expandable storage. If $600 is too much, you can still get devices that run circles around even the iPhone 5S for less money, look at the Nexus 5 which is $350. 2.3GHZ quad core, 2 gigs of ram, and a bigger screen. But the 5S is 64-bit. So? It’s not magically going to improve performance. What you mainly get out of 64-bit CPU’s is that you can address more ram, specifically, above 4GB. The 5S only has 1. iOS is very optimised to run on the hardware though, and I’ll give it that, look at how you have very low latency in audio apps. That’s one thing the iPhone is good at. But every other kind of task is a chore, because of some of the IMO stupid sandboxing rules apple has. Inter-app communication is kept to the bare minimum. Apple says apps are one of, if not the most important, strengths of iOS. And that’s true, look at this site, which is a very useful resource and community. Back to apps though, there are a lot of them, and you will need a lot of them to get one task done. For example you might get a document over email you want to edit, and then share to someone through, say, what’s app. You first need to export the file out of Email, into an app that can edit it. That app hopefully will have an open with option or built in dropbox support so you can upload it. Then, you need to go to dropbox, copy the link to the clipboard, go to what’s app, paste the link, and send it. But what if it can’t be dropbox? What if you need to use google drive or sky drive? What if you need to upload it to a webpage? You can’t, because that would require apple to give you file system access so you can find the file. And that is a ridiculously high security risk. On Android, every app is sandboxed as well, but Google has sharing API’s which, unlike on iOS where the sharing API is limited to services apple gives you like Facebook, Twitter or iMessage, lets any app register with it. So it doesn’t matter if you need to share the file to dropbox or a new service that will come out in a few years, you can, and developers don’t need to do anything to support it, apart from adding a “share” option. Also, one of the new features of Android 4.4 is you now have a common open file dialog for all apps, which developers can integrate their services with. So at that point, any text editor or what have you will be able to open a file out of your Dropbox, edit it, and then Dropbox will automatically upload it after you’re done editing. Another problem I have is some of apple’s policies regarding their stores. Specifically, the no refund and no trials policy. That’s OK for movies and music, but apps? You don’t know if an app is accessible before trying it. Most apps in the app store aren’t free, so you end up wasting money on inaccessible apps. Yes, Apple does give refunds if you contact their sales team, but seriously? That’s overkill and takes more time than it’s worth. Google play gives you a 15-minute refund period, so you can try even the most expensive apps without fear of wasting money, and I’ve done so on many occasions. And lastly, accessibility. Yes, I’m really talking about the godly Voiceover and yes, it’s not godly. Nothing is perfect, Talkback on Android does have issues (confusing menus, terrible web view support, or poorly documented API’s for developers looking to make their apps accessible) are good examples where Voiceover does much better. The problem though is that it’s starting to have more and more issues. And just like JAWS on Windows, with each new iOS release, it’s degrading, and Apple is not doing enough to fix it. I’m not sure if it’s not enough people reporting it or Apple ignoring problems, maybe a little of both. A few examples of issues would be kind of broken access to Siri, international voices which have very obvious pronunciation issues that somehow no one at Apple noticed, and features that have been missing for years that can be fixed with a jailbreak like having a pronunciation dictionary or getting full speed out of the synthesiser. Because of how closed off iOS is, we don’t have good contact with people who develop Voiceover, while on Android Talkback can be updated separately, you can talk to the people in charge, and even have a bug tracker specific to accessibility. In conclusion, is iOS good? Yes. Even though I said all these things, it did revolutionise touchscreen access and gave a shove to the competition. Can you be very productive? In my opinion, no. The situation does improve slightly after a jailbreak, but things are just separated too much to get anything more complex done quickly and without 20000 steps.



Submitted by Steve Markham on Sunday, November 3, 2013

As an iPhone and iPad user I have to say I agree with everything you say but I still use iOS. My problem with Android is talkback. I agree that VoiceOver isn't perfect but it works and is easy to use. I don't want to have to open menu after menu just to change granularity. Web accessibility is poor to say the least and the sounds used are terrible. I personally would love to have an android phone for several reasons: More choice, Cheaper contracts, more customization such as expandable memory or changeable batteries selection of screen sizes etc. The list goes on... As I say though, the reason I won't have one is TB. I would quite happily borrow a droid for a week and use it as my primary phone to see if I could get on with it. However, having owned a Nexus 4 and Galaxy s3 and not touched my iPhone while using them I just didn't like the screen reader. 4.3.3 was the latest operating system I used and enjoyed it a lot but it all comes back to the screen reader. Some of the gestures didn't always work, some of them were and probably still are just too clunky for my liking. I don't want talkback to be exactly the same as Voiceover but at the same time I don't want to have to go through menu after menu just to change reading from paragraph to line etc. Just my thoughts.

Submitted by Callum on Sunday, November 3, 2013

I aggree with almost everything you've said on here. I've been using an iPhone for about two years now and although I aggree with this I still like it. The thing that puts me off Android was TalkBack. I tried it on my stepbrothers Galixy S3 a bit ago and thought, like another person who commented on here, there was just too many menus. It also seemed to be very slow at responding, and when it eventually did respond, I had to listen to it about 4 times before I could understand it. From using that then going back to my iPhone 5 with VO, it felt like two completely different devices. Another thing that puts me off Android is customer service. Apple's customer service team are fantastic, whereas Android, not so much. I once sent an email asking a few questions about TB because when my upgrade was due last Christmas I was actually thinking about going from a 3GS to a 5 or Android. I asked a few questions about Talkback and after about two weeks they emailed me back with the shortest email ever. They might aswell have just writen look on our website. Mind you, they really need something similar to the 15 minute refund thing on iOS. But Apple customer service are quick. when I emailed them about an inaccessible app I'd bought they refunded me within about 6 hours. Better than two weeks :) I don't wanna start any internet arguments here these are just my oppinions. What I'm basically saying is iOS isn't perfect, but perfect enough for me to stick to it, for now anyway.

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Sunday, November 3, 2013

Greetings! This will possibly be the only time you'll actualy see a post from me on here, but who knows. As of Talkback 3.4 , the change of Granularity, which use to be a two part swipe gesture, now takes to the top and bottom of lists or pages. You can however change it back to original way, by going in to Talkback Settings, then choose Manage gestures, then select two part Vertical gestures, Click the checkbox that says Cycle Through Granularity, and there ya go. Good day, everyone.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, November 3, 2013

Whatever works well for you if it makes you happy go for it. All of us are happy with our iPhone and although we have some problem here and there, we understand that technology is not 100 % accessible. I like my iPhone. Had one since 4 and now I have iPhone 5 s. Enjoy your phone.

Submitted by Michael Malarsie on Sunday, November 3, 2013

While there are some valid points brought up in this post this is pure fanboy rhetoric. It all comes down to what the user wants. If they want something to just work there going to want iOS if they want to explore and play with stuff they're going to want android. iOS may have its issues but android does too. Talk back and android are upgraded independently which is good. But look at Kit Kat. It is coming out and very staggered release and nobody can give a straight answer on when it will be available and for which devices. There is never a question with iOS releases. One just works that's what people like. Not everybody cares about productivity and wordprocessing. I have never needed to do this and honestly don't care at all about it. I have both android and iOS devices and I am much more productive on iOS. That is just my opinion though. Everybody has their opinion and I think it's great that we have choices but this entire post just is the typical fanboy arguments. It all comes down to personal needs. One is not better than the other. They are just different. I don't understand the need that fanboys have to try to persuade others to switch operating systems. Live and let live!

Submitted by Steve Markham on Sunday, November 3, 2013

In reply to by Michael Malarsie

I personally enjoy talking about how devices work and what is good or bad about them. Microsoft are also building in a screen reader to phone 8 and their tablets all run narrator. So, there is more choice than ever out there which is never a bad thing. At least we can now say that we don't like how platform x works so we are using platform y in stead of moaning that we can't use either of them. As long as talking about it is constructive, see earlier reply to me about granularity for example then I don't see an issue.

Submitted by Khalfan Bin Dhaher on Sunday, November 3, 2013

In reply to by Steve Markham

Great. I would like to share my opinion with you from an accessibility point of view, you may find my experience helpful. I started using the iPhone since 2009 and learned VoiceOver basics and other features, I felt in love with it. Ofcorce, it was not an easy step to directly switch from Nokia to iOS because Arabic was not supported by VoiceOver during that time till summer 2011. I had the chance last year to try Android on a Nexus 4 device. TalkBack seems to work fine during that time, but not responsive as VO, TB does not allow the user to edit lable buttons, auto-detect language such as switching from English to Arabic wwhile reading a text. The only advantage that Arab users liked about Android is the ability to install Acapela's TTS. Sinnce English is my first language, I didn't care. I had an HTC 1 Smart Phone few months ago and played with it. I can say it's one of the best Android phones I ever seen. It is very easy to get used too, the accessibility is better than any Android phone. Those who've used the Galaxy S4 might face difficulty while typing using the on-screen keyboard, a popup shows while pressing a key. In conclusion, iOS and iOS accessibility is stable and totally independent.

Submitted by brandon armstrong on Sunday, November 3, 2013

hi I agree with what was said in this post. apparently, I am not the only one who has issues with voiceover, so for those who wanted to sit here, and slam me for posts that I've posted about android, take note from this post before sitting here and calling me things like a troll.

In the latest TB you can edit labels I believe. Every screen reader has issues or things people won't or don't like and I don't think people should be called trols for giving an opinion. Personally I like iOS but would quite happily use an Android if I liked TB for reasons I have already listed. There are plenty of things I don't like about iOS too though I just find VoiceOver quicker for switching between headings, links, words etc.

Submitted by clbastian on Sunday, November 3, 2013

I am really productive with an iPhone but I don't like the monthly bill and overall prices of the phones. With this said has anyone used mobilespeak? I purchased it for my Samsung Jack which was a windows mobile 6.1 device, and it worked flawlessly for web, os navigation, and everything else. It is 80 bucks and well worth it, but does anyone know if it is functional with android? Is the sony spiria accessible? My contract is up and I'd like to grab something sexy and that has a cheaper bill attached to it as well. Thanks for the post!

Submitted by Carlos Alonso on Sunday, November 3, 2013

Because it works for me. Check that - it works great for me. As Mike said, personal use needs and preferences have a lot to do with why one prefers one platform over another. Just like sighted people, there are differing opinions based on how you use your device. I am glad that Android has come along enough for it to be a viable choice for some, I was surprised to read about some of the cool stuff you can do now with the Nexxus tablets and phones. I am not going to stick with one platform just for being a fanboy of one or the other, but based on my satisfaction with the iPhones I've used, there is no compelling reason for me to switch. Some of the productivity issues brought out in this post and others I've read are valid, it just doesn't affect me. I use a windows PC at work all day, and have a Mac for personal use, my iPhone is perfect for what I use it for as a portable device. GPS, podcasts, object identification, OCR, color identification, interfacing with a lot of devices at home such as my uVerse receivers, Logitech internet radio devices, etc., plus a ton more of apps I use. I used an iPhone 4 for 3 and a half years and recently upgraded to an iPhone 5S, my iPhone 4 still works geat and has the latest IOS version even when it's that old. In my everyday use of my phone the only new bug I ran into is the volume for voiceover stuck at 35%, it's kind of annoying but I'm pretty sure Apple will fix it and I can get around the bug easily enough. Frankly, I find some of the very dramatic posits about how terrible Apple accessibility has become kind of amusing. Immediately after IOS 7 came out, there was a thread floating around for a while with a subject of 'IOS 7 bugs, will they ever be fixed' - People forget Apple is a mainstream company that happens to make their devices mostly accessible, while this is obvious, it's also amusing to read posts comparing voiceover with JAWS which is written by an company dedicated exclusively to accessibility products. A few months ago I played around with my sighted friend's Nexxus 7 tablet running 4.1, it was accessible, but almost all of the cool apps he wanted to show off to me didn't work with TalkBack. So the time may come when one of these Android phones is the clear choice for most blind/visually impaired users. In the meantime, I'm happy with my choice. The hardware advantages? I guess if I had an Android phone with a faster CPU I could simultaneously open a ton of inaccessible apps. No, thanks.

Submitted by Matt on Sunday, November 3, 2013

In reply to by Michael Malarsie

First of all, I would like to second Mike from above. Secondly, I just knew when someone posted a while back about why they used an iOS device instead of Android that it would create this kind of a response. Yes, it is great that the blind consumer has options in the market place for accessing mobile technology and participating in the greater mobile society that we live in, and yes, each platform has its own set of problems. However, do we have to spend eternity debating one platform over the other? Maybe I just like white chocolate while Joe likes dark chocolate. Can we just agree to leave it at that? Can we just be more productive with our time? Maybe the people who feel strongly about Android should go create DroidVis, and take the community goals of AppleVis to the Google universe. You know guys, ten years ago, we were all trying to figure out how to use Symbian on Nokia phones and windows mobile. You know what? Its ten years later and those platforms are not around anymore. So, we should take the ball that we have now, and keep driving towards the end zone instead of rehashing the same old arguments that are on every other tech site on the net because in another ten years there will be something newer. I would rather have multiple quality options as a consumer in ten years and my greater hope is that companies will see the wisdom of building accessibility from the ground up rather than patching it in after the fact.

Submitted by AJ Roxas on Monday, November 4, 2013

Hi! Just like to share my opinion about this topic. To tell you before only nokya phones are accessible by the 3rd party screen readers like the nuance talks and the mobile speak. Now we should be thankful because of the competition of the mobile market. Many company’s like apple, google, and Microsoft are making built in accessibility apps for their operating systems like what apple did to mac which Microsoft narrator but Microsoft don’t give a dam to all there users with special needs like persons with disability to also use their products. When apple change how computers work with a built in screen reader inside and it runs like a high price 3rd party screen reader other company’s also working to their built in textospeech. Just to match voiceover of the mac. So like android users you are also like windows who always waiting for apple to do the next move and after seeing that its working that’s the time you will make a product that can match the work of apple. And as a mobile user android is not that accessible in any ways if you will look at it in all aspect we need is productivity not the flat form itself but apple listen to our needs so we are thankful because we can use a device without paying extra just to have a screen reader which is more expensive than the device we are using. And why you spend your money in a system that and can’t be update on the latest version and full of viruses that why many developers don’t like to make apps for android and many developers on android use there apps to hack and scam your systems not like apple you are secured with your system. So it’s up to you if what system you are happy and can make your life productive because in IOS world apple and the developers listen to us users.

Submitted by Florian on Monday, November 4, 2013

First off, let me say that rabid defending of one platform or bashing another platform like Mike did in comment 8 makes me think of a fanboy more than anything. And yes Mike, they do frustrate me as well. Please point out to me where the OP pointed out that Android is vastly superior to iOS and everyone should dump their iPhones to the wayside? ...nowhere? ...thats what I thought. Now. To actually get past the flame war nonsense and get anything productive on paper, shall we? *rubs hands * In this thread a lot of good points have been made, both about Android and iOS: - the OP (which means original poster by the way) is certainly right when it comes to sandboxing getting in the way of the workflow of some people. I myself am among those who growl in frustration everytime I find that I cannot properly get data from app A to app B because Apple would rather I don't. Remember people, this is the reason Fleksy is still a 3rd party app instead of a native keyboard. This is the reason why Fleksy, BrailleTouch and all these great input methods are completely useless when it comes to apps where rapid typing is actually useful. Things like IM applications, WhatsApp ...you know ...apps where you type a lot in a short time if you don't want to bore the other party to tears. This is why we download Acapela voices for every single app that needs them, over and over and over again, eating valuable storage space because Apple won't allow system-wide speech synthesis. - Now i've sufficiently bashed iOS (in the fanboys eyes that is) let me somewhat redeem myself by bashing Android as well, shall I? Talkback, while it has come a long way, still isn't perfect. I freely admit I agree with those who say text editing is a little frustrating at times on an Android phone. Especially if you do not own a keyboard to interface with your phone, this certainly can take a bit of getting used to. That Talkback is slow is not something I have experienced, at least not on recent phones. I own a nexus 4 now, solely for the reasons that it is pretty darned fast and will receive the latest google updates for at least a year or longer. And even after that, putting on a custom ROM is easily enough done on this phone. The babble about unreliable update schedules is certainly true, depending on your phone model. As for not being able to label images and buttons, that was indeed added in the latest version of Talkback. This is now rather easy to do and works , at least for me, pretty reliably so far. So there you have it. iOS has its things that suck royally, so does Android. iOS has some pretty cool things, and hey ...so does Android! Is it really necessary to bash someone over the head with iOS biblistical claptrap when all they do is express their opinion on a different operating system? I'm glad i'm gradually seeing a switch from 'Android must die, Apple is god!" to "its good we have a choice in phones we can buy" ...but I beg all of you: please continue that trend. Fanboyism is one of the premier ways of pissing people off. It doesn't make anyone more popular, nobody will thank you for it and at the end of the day, it just makes you look incredibly stupid and childish. So look at me you all, I'm a Windows Macintosh Linux Android iOS fanboy! Everyone who uses anything else than these systems sucks and when they complain they're just using it wrong. ....yeah ....see how dumb that looks? I'll stop talking now

Submitted by Andrew on Monday, November 4, 2013

In reply to by Steve Markham

Hello all, I have exclusively used an I-Phone since December of 2011 when the 4s was put into my hands. I am curious about the other side of the coin being discussed in this thread however. I don't know if it is my ignorance or something else, but I cannot find any current literature, web or otherwise, that has gestures, tips, tricks and just a general overview of what to do when someone puts an android phone in my hand. I would like to learn more about android at least; because there may come a time when I am without my I-Phone and in the company of an individual who possesses an android device. If something happens, god forbid, how would I/could I assist in helping that individual when the only piece of technology present is their phone. What would I do? I want to know the basics of android and more perhaps but I feel that the knowledge out there for that platform is elusive and so fragmented. it is impossible to find accessibility gides/how too's for the newest generation of a nexus seven; or the motoX that I hear about. For instance; the conversation discussed above regarding granulation or labeling....if there are ways to fix or make these things work on the android side, how did you find this out? Is it a self taught thing, or is it written in some gide somewhere? I want to learn and then decide for myself, but I need help locating the knowledge out there to make an informed decision. It seems, whenever I have a problem with my ios device; there is never a problem finding a work around or a solution over the internet or right on this site. Again, my experience might be due to ignorance, but I cannot be faulted for trying to look with little to no success on the android side of things. For instance; is talk back present on all droid phones, or just stock android phones? Are the android versions of some typical apps such as google hangouts, google voice, google search.....heck; google anything more accessible on their actual platform? I ask this because so many of the ios versions of these applications are unusable upon open from the ios side of things it doesn't paint a positive picture. What is it like on that side with respect to these apps and more? Thoughts and or suggestions are appreciated. -Andrew-

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Monday, November 4, 2013

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I'm quite positively surprised that the majority of replies are constructive. Now, to #18, Talkback has its own explore by tough tutorial which teaches you all basic gestures, very much like the first run tutorial on the mac or the VO tutorial app on iOS. In the latest talkback update the tutorial has been expanded to also cover using menus, which is also where you label controls, so the documentation is slowly getting there, but like you said, it's all over the place. Thankfully, Google runs an official eyes-free list which where any accessibility of android related discussions take place and people are very helpful to new users. It's also the place where people talk about any app discoveries, or where developers go to for accessibility questions.

Submitted by Florian on Monday, November 4, 2013

This is mainly a reply to comment 18, but of course this applies to anyone who is curious about Android. First, let me try to answer some of the questions posed above. As said in the previous comment (number 19) , the primary source of documentation and user discussion is the eyes-free google group. http://groups.google.com/group/eyes-free Sadly, the new Googlegroups interface isn't as accessible as the previous iteration. Or rather... its a little bothersome to navigate through now. You can still do everything you could do before. Anyway, this is where podcasts, documents, new talkback versions etc. are announced. Theres quite many podcasts on Android out there these days. Off the top of my head, I believe there's a website that has heaps of them demonstrating apps, features etc. I believe it was http://www.jjhof.com/androidpodcasts So, that would be a good place to look as well. Now, let's quote your last few questions because it is easier *wink* For instance; is talk back present on all droid phones, or just stock android phones? // I'm afraid I'm going to have to tell you that I am not sure about that one myself. It used to be that sometimes talkback was already installed and sometimes it needed to be installed. I think that is no longer the case on Android versions higher than 4.0 ...but I could be wrong on that so please correct me if I'm wrong. Are the android versions of some typical apps such as google hangouts, google voice, google search.....heck; google anything more accessible on their actual platform? // quite. Google search, google now and voice search work without too much difficulty. I cannot comment on google hangouts since I never use it. Google maps is also perfectly usable. Others may be able to chip in here with their experiences. I hope that clears some stuff up for you Andrew. Look me up on twitter (zersiax) if you have any more questions about Android. That goes for all of you by the way *smile*

Yes… I'm actually very happy to see that people are more interested in the choices that we have rather than pitting one operating system against another. I'm sure people have seen me around the forum bashing Apple accessibility and iOS 7… But that doesn't mean that I hate the operating system… In fact I was just thinking this morning about how much I appreciated the way that the iOS is designed. At least for me… I like having a device that just works. Many people who critique Apple say that they make devices for people who don't know how to use computers. I think that this assessment is a tad unfair… Some of us aren't as techy as others… And that's absolutely fine. Some of us like to play around a bit more… And for those folks perhaps android is the better choice. I think the key thing here is yes… Apple is pretty controlling when it comes to the iOS… But they're not trying to rip people off. Some people will contend that they are… But I do not believe that this is true. I'm very happy to see that android accessibility is continuing to advance… But to be honest with you… Getting into android accessibility is still (in my opinion at least) quite daunting. I like being able to pick up a device and know exactly how to use it… And exactly how it's going to work rather than waiting through an endless sea of what devices will work and what won't and when you do get a device that works what you will have to delete and add onto it to optimize its performance. Again… I don't mean to bash android… But that is just my personal reasoning for sticking with iOS and for sticking with Mac rather than windows. But as many of you know… I have no problem critiquing Apple. I think that even for being a large corporation they do a very good job of ensuring fair compensation for copyright holders such as musicians, filmmakers, artists, and software developers… They were the first company to truly entertain the idea of integrating accessibility right in to their operating systems, and they design the products very well from an ergonomics point of view. But let's be honest… They have also made some pretty questionable decisions. The whole situation with Fox con a couple of years ago, the issue where iPods manufactured between the years of 2006 and 2009 couldn't play music that wasn't purchased from iTunes or something like that, and I'm still not sure why there cables and connectors have identifier chips inside of them… That's a little strange don't you think? But overall I think Apple does a pretty good job at what they do. And by identifier chips I just mean that the chip basically identifies the cable as being manufactured by Apple.

Submitted by Falco on Monday, November 4, 2013

Hi, I agree with the person who started this topic. At this point I'm still using an iphone 4. It works very nice but the stupid sandboxing system of apple like no viewable file explorer is strange. I just bought a macbook Air to give mac OS X a try without losing the option to bootcamp and keep using there nice hardware without there Operating system. I use it for 4 days now and I had some problems already: - no standard NTFS support - De price of very basic apps is very high - no good ftp integration in finder bye

Submitted by Kyle on Monday, November 4, 2013

to comment to a lot of things here. i love choice and i also am very excited for everything in both relms of the mobile technology world. furthermore i've said this before, but one strong side for android is its ability for choice. its like going into a sandwitch shop. in an apple esk sandwitch shop you will have the usual kinds of sandwitches, but you buy a sandwitch and you get no say in what they put on it. the sandwitch makers have their predefined recipes and that is how they do it. you know exactly what will be on it, but you have no say in it. so if this next time you might want cheese on this particular sandwitch, the sandwitch makers are gonna say no. we make your sandwitch and that is how its gonna be. and you aren't gonna get anything different. on the other hand, if you walk into an android esk sandwitch shop, they will ask you what you want on it and you can customize it down to the final detail. so there is a bit of you need to know what you want before hand. but i will think any one will say you need to know that in the first place even if you go with apple. this is how both operating systems work. of course with choice comes responsibility. there is a bit of digging with android. there isn't as much documentation and resources for android like there are for apple. such as this website. i attribute that to both android only recently getting really good accessibility , and the fact that blind people are very reluctant to switch. especially that they heard from a friend of a friend that there blind cousin had a horrible experience with an android device for such and such reason. but the person relaying the story half forgot the specific details. therefore, this person swears off all android products and exclusively uses IOS. its time for that thinking to end now. don't get me wrong android accessibility was crap a few years ago. it was manageable, but you couldn't do much and it required a lot of work- arounds. that isn't the case now. while i'm not on there, the eyesfree google group is a great resource. i've heard nothing but positive things from that place. also if you are more into podcasts, you should check out httP;//www.thatandroidshow.com love there podcasts and they have some awesome content. here is the main text of an article which i will link to below. this gives gestures for talkback, the most widely used android screne reader. Note: These gestures work only when Explore by Touch is turned on and are only for devices running 4.1 and higher. TalkBack has shortcut gestures to help you get to your Home screen, go back, and more. To try these shortcuts, swipe using a single motion: •Up then right: Open local context menu •Up then left: Home button •Down then right: Open global context menu •Down then left: Back button •Right then down: Open notifications •Left then up: Recent apps button You can modify your shortcut gestures and the corresponding actions in TalkBack by going to Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack > Settings > Manage shortcut gestures. the link to the article is https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/2926960?hl=en there are other links on that page that people might want to check out. you also have the obvious swipe left and right go to between elements and double tap to celect. and as was said before you can label things with 4.3 and the latest tb. there is very little that ios has accessibility wise that android doesn't now. as far as accessible apps, IOS has android beaten hands down. but i have found an app on android for everything i want to do. the only exception i have not found a lot of are accessible games, but there are a hand full of them. just not the selection that there are on IOS. as far as hangouts and things being more accessible on android, i would say yes. the IOS versions are riddled with unlabeled buttons and in android they are labeled. another good thing for android is the fact that the price point is usually much lower. and you usually get better hardware. i mean really having a 64 bit chip while still only putting one gb of ram. come on. at least go up to 2 gb. my nexus has 2gb or ram and a 32 mb of storage. and its faster than any device i've ever seen. talk back is very responsive and it has never crashed. i wish i could say the same for voice over on my iphone. i have always not under stood why apple has such high prices... ok, i do understand why they do, but its stupid. some of the price is warranted, but most of it isn't. hopefully this has helped. and if anyone has anymore questions i know we can come up with an answer or if we missed one we can try to get it in a future post

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Monday, November 4, 2013

Talkback availability is no longer an issue. It used to be in the 2.X days, but now every new device has Talkback and thankfully OEM's are making their modifications of the OS more usable. Some like HTC still need work but they're getting there. Others, like Samsung, even include their own accessibility features that aren't available anywhere else in addition to having all of their built in apps labeled. -As far as Google apps, the majority of the time the Android counterparts are much more usable than iOS, case and point being hangouts, where on iOS you can't accessibly end an active call, where as on Android everything is labeled and accessible. Youtube also is a bit easier to use, and let's not even compare google search/google now.

Submitted by Serena on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In reply to by Piotr Machacz

wouldn't it be cool, to have a device, that could dual boot to either android or iOS. lol. oh, I know it likely will never happen, but it's a nice idea. ok, moving on from dreams, ... I have messed about with an android phone briefly, and some of the stuff it does is cool, such as the list navigation thing of scrolling with two fingers. some though, just seem weird. it just didn't feel usable, in terms of getting around the system. I could do it, but with a lot of messing around. course, things might have changed since then, and probably have. I think it was running 4.0, or possibly 4.1. it was a samsung galaxy s3. however, I am wary of going out, and spending a good 700 bucks on a good android device, when a lot of stuff isn't accessible. that's not to say I won't some day, because I probably will at some point. if for no other reason, then because prices will come down, and accessibility is getting better all the time. course, this is true of voiceover as well. I think both systems are going good places. android's is probably going places faster at the moment, because they are playing a bit of catch up. but it will likely slow down as they get most functions working well. as do most screen readers. but like I say, I really don't want to spend, and can't afford to spend, around 6 to 700 bucks on a device that may or may not be completely accessible. and of course, even though a commenter said that samsung are getting better at this, they still cause some problems from what I've herd. I'd very much love to get hold of android on a cheep device, but from what I've seen, I'm guessing the cheaper options tend to be filtered through heaps of extra overlays and such, which would mess accessibility up. if I do get one, it will probably be a samsung, as they seem to be the best. but like iPhones, they aren't cheep. for example. a SAMSUNG Galaxy S III 4G Unlocked Titanium, comes in, at $547 Australian and the SAMSUNG GALAXY S 4, weighs in at $698 Australian. yes, these are cheaper over all then an iphone, and you can usually get more options such as SD card slots, but still, not very cheep. never the less, one day, when I have a bit of money to spare, or if I can get hold of a family members, or friends old samsung to mess around with, I very much want to learn android. I'm not against it, just not willing to put the money out and risk not having accessibility to the standards I'm now used to from iphones. lol. the other rout I've thought of going, is a tablet of some type. but from what I've seen, most of them aren't all that impressive, although they tend to be cheaper then phones. go figure, when they are bigger. lol. but perhaps one day I will be able to get a good tablet with android on, to play around with. probably more likely to go this rout, as I now have the iphone 5, and am quite happy with it so far. no need to buy yet another mobile phone. I have an iphone 5, iphone 3gs, and a nokia c6 00. lol. so don't think I need more phones. but I have not yet gotten any tablets. I'm probably going to get one of the new iPad's, because of the way I will be able to multi task on them. but it wouldn't hurt to find a nice, cheap, mostly accessible android based tablet. besides, tablets seems to be the future of most computing. and my next windows computer will probably be a tablet of some form, a surface pro, or something similar. anyway's, I'll close up this rambling comment. I just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in to the conversation.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In reply to by Serena

I love the sandwich analogy actually, just as I actually have grown rather fond of this jolly old topic. I love reading about Android because I want to know more. Almost everything I read confirms to me that I am happy with my iPhone, more than happy in fact, but that's the beauty of it. To me, the Apple sandwich shop is like a good old trusted restaurant. You know what you're going to get, they do all your favourite dishes in just the way you like them and you'll go away full. If the wine list doesn't contain wine every country, it's at least got that fantastic Chateau St Amelion 2005 as well as a jolly fine Malbeck and a chateauneuf Du Pape on it. Android strikes me more as the restaurant that has everything on the menu, provided you're happy to get a tray, serve yourself or programme a touschscreen machine to configure what you want in your sandwich or on your plate, fill up your own drink at a machine, find a table and put your food tray back at the end. however big the menu is, I wouldn't want to go somewhere like that.

Submitted by Brooke on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In reply to by Bingo Little

I'm going to find it interesting to observe, to see which Android phones get KitKat. It's supposed to be able to run on much lower-end phones, so one would think these phones would get the upgrade. In the future, that might be a cheaper way for some who are interested in Android to play around with it. It should also mean that phones may not get left behind as quickly... but again, only time will tell. I still have no intentions of taking that risk anytime soon, but the topic does interest me. Lol to a comment made above about having enough old phones laying around... yeah. I've got a Nokia E72, a Motorola Flipout, and an Xperia Pro. I think my collection of old phones is big enough at the moment... filled mostly with Androids that are no longer supported.

Submitted by WildmanJoe on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

After reading this forum post, I feel like I'm whitnessing a Wendys employee trying to convince a dary queen employee that they might consider dropping the blizard, and start celling frostys.

Submitted by Michael Malarsie on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I absolutely love the fact that we have options now. I have an iPad, iPhone five, and a Nexus seven, and I absolutely have my eye on the new Nexus five. I think I got one of the Nexus sevens with the screen issues which kind of sucks but it's okay because it still works. I can move my finger around on the screen and without doing anything else talkback will randomly select items as I pass over them. This can make the experience a little frustrating but I have not sworn them off for good. The hardest thing right now is the fact that I have to convince my wife to give me $350 to spend on yet another device ha ha.

This is the sort of thing that frustrates me. Instead of people being able to have a discussion with open minds people always end up acting like this, making stupid childish comments for no good reason. I love discussing different devices in regards to Accessability. I run a website that does that very thing. The point I was trying to get across, which clearly you missed, is that one operating system is not better than the other. It all comes down to personal choice. Each one has its strong points and its weaknesses and I just get tired of hearing people who prefer one bash the other. I 100% open to having a constructive conversation weighing the pros and cons of any mobile device. But I don't want to do it with someone who wants to act like a child.

Submitted by Joe on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Club AppleVis Member

Okay but I think the point he was making is this again is called Apple Vis. Again A P P L E lol. Seriously just the thread topic alone is not productive, and if you want to talk android go to an android forum. I think Andorid is okay, but if I want to talk about it I will seek out an android forum.

Submitted by WildmanJoe on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In reply to by Michael Malarsie

Honestly, that comment was meant more as a joke than anything. I can't speak ill about the Droid, because I have never used it myself. I have actually read this entire discussion, and have, to the best of my abbility, tried looking at all points. Anyway, It's probably something I should not have said, and I meant no harm by it. Please accept my apology for the comment.

Submitted by Anne Mauro on Thursday, November 7, 2013

I think the iphone is better than my cellphone. It's great for looking up information. If anyone needs help using the iphone get thebook Getting Started with the iphone and ios 5 for blind users ByAnnaDresne. You get itfrom National Braille Press or nbp.org r

Submitted by Hadi on Saturday, November 9, 2013

I thought apple fanboys are the only annoying people in the world. now I think that they've got a serious competitor which is fandroids I'm a musician and at the same time I study English literature. I have no time for "playing around" with my phone, and no, I can't afford having two phones with me, both regarding the price and the fact that my room is cluttered already. Saying that, I get what I need with my Iphone. I call, text message, use the apps that became popular these days - WEChat and Viber or w/e. then again, I have some OCR apps, an app to mesure my heartRate and stress, and another for listening to radio, plus I do listen to LIVE air traffic controllers when I get the time. and the more important thing, I've got dictionary tools in my iPhone. There is literally nothing that I want or expect from my "phone". the only thing that I need is stability. I do trust my iPhone and it never wasted my time with any nonsense errors or crashes. and yes, my iPhone has not been rebooted or turned off for more than 10 months. Call me apple fanboy or whatever. I just have a phone device which helps my life to roll smoothly. I have a laptop and a dedicated server in Germany for playing geeky, though. Oh and one thing, the only bug that managed to bother me was the speaker issue of iPhone during the calls. it's now fixed in 7.0.3 anyway.

That book through NBP literally saved me a LOT of headaches when I first got my iPhone. I turned to it for so many things and truly feel I was able to learn my phone so much faster because of it. I'd definitely recommend that book to anyone just getting started.

Submitted by Florian on Monday, November 11, 2013

Hi, And to those who worry about a flame war breaking out, this is the last comment I will write on this issue, no matter the replies I may or may not get on this. If you have read at all what I have been trying to point out, Mr. High and Mighty, you will have seen that I have in fact made the same points regarding each operating system being different. iOS has its faults and its good things, and so has Android. Do not forget it was you who started with the whole 'fanboy' name-calling, as well as calling me 'childish' in your last iteration of this rather pointless discussion. I find this rather insulting and it shows me you are in fact not taking me seriously, which discourages me from wasting any more of my time in even answering this. If you cannot behave like a civilized individual in a perfectly good discussion about the merits of two operating systems, I'd humbly request you keep out of them. You may run a website on discussing the pope for all I care, but the decorum you are displaying here doesn't paint a positive picture, at least not for me. Now, let's get back to the very interesting discussion on hand. I really like the discussion this topic has generated, in particular the sandwich analogy is a very fitting one :) It shows off one thing may be good for one person, and another for others. That is a good thing and it illustrates how important choice is :) So, in one thing I actually agree with Mike. Live and let live, use what you feel comfortable with. But I also say that you shouldn't judge something you have not in fact used yourself with an open mind. A friend of mine is what people over here would call a fandroid, just because his friend's friend told him iOS sucked. He now tells his friends the same, and I see a lot of that going on with Android as well. In my opinion that is rather short-sighted. So let me ammend my earlier statement: Use what you feel comfortable with, live and let live , but don't bash what you have no experience with except hearsay.

Submitted by James Mannion on Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In reply to by Steve Markham

Let me start by saying I truly feel that IOS has issues I wish it did not. Yes its restrictions are too heavy handed and yes voiceover needs a few fixes. I am actually most often feeling torn because both platforms have issues not fixable at the user level and not necessarily being fixed by the people that can. In a decision based on functionality and flexibility of the OS, I would be an Android user. I am primarily an IOS and voiceover user. On Android, accessibility of web views I'm pretty sure is a fundamental issue. I am pretty sure the reason TalkBack does not directly support web views is because due to the underlying push method of accessibility using an API, it can not. This is a serious, serious shortcoming. They either need to redo the entire accessibility framework or remain up against a brick wall with regard to proper accessibility to web views. This really bothers me. Just the fact that the developer uses web views has the huge potential to be an accessibility challenge and even when they do work, while better than nothing, they perform like crap for us. Swipe into an email and often land a few lines to a few pages south of where you wanted to be. Want to use something like a banking app that uses web views and cares about security, sorry, we won't be having your injected scripts here! This is a terrible, terrible fundamental issue that can not be fixed by adjusting some top level code. I also agree that TB, while I am extremely happy it gives us access, has an interface ridiculously cumbersome to use. Those circle menus?? What, does that looks nice? Can we just have a list which is far more functional? Yes I hate that the voiceover item chooser only offers putting everything in alphabetical order and not in the order it appears on screen, but aside from that, it is way, way more efficient to use. I also hate having to go into two or three levels of circle menus to adjust something or something as simple as requesting the cursor be placed at the beginning of the text. Last I knew, to simply select all of the text and delete it would take 5 to 6 trips into those circle menus to complete the task. So we are extremely fortunate to have accessibility on both platforms, but I believe the design on Android is second rate for sure. You can choose inferior accessibility for greater capability of your platform or much more refined accessibility for a more restricted platform which can hinder at times, although a lot of times if one will be open to it, they can in fact find efficient enough methods of using it. I believe it has become extremely fashionable to bash Apple, both inside and outside of the blind community. Pod casts that will themselves talk about Apple having like 15% global market share won't stop making Apple bashing a center piece of their show. I don't tune into Android pod casts to hear them trash talk Apple. I already understand Apple's shortcomings, often the pod casters and blog posters either do not properly understand them, or worse yet, choose to distort the matter. I dislike some IOS restrictions, I think Android accessibility has far more troubling issues. So when they are going to trash talk Apple and Voiceover, let's talk about the problems that terrible web view access does and can cause. You know what, you hear very little if anything about that. No, the Android pod casts have to spend more time talking about voiceover instead. For something that they say only has 15% market share, they sure spend a lot of time worrying that somebody might like it and choose to use it.

James if you are so set on bashing talkback and how it displays and interacts with webviews, go try fire fox and get back to us on that. one reason i prize android is the lack of needing to memorize gestures and tapps. there are far fewer gestures and tapps to memorize on android verses IOS. i have had my iphone for almost 3 years now and even a year into that i was still learning that oh this does this and that does that? and with IOS 7 the 3 finger quadruple tap was introduced. while it is a good feature, does it really need that many fingers and that many taps? if it continues in the say way, eventually we are gonna need to use five fingers on one hand, a few toes and an earlobe just to do one symble thing on an iphone 7. ok, an exaggeration, but i hope my point is clear. as far as the context menus go, i doubt you can go 6 levels down. the most you should ever have to go is 2 maybe 3. these menus are very clean, easily access with one finger, and quick to use. i can use them in about 1 or 3 seconds at the most. and it usually takes me at least that long to do some of the taps in IOS. the menus are a lot faster than having to scroll that roter around and having to find what ever you are looking for. not to mention that the granularity can be set to not use the context menus so you don't even have to use them if you don't like them. so i ask people to please do your research before just going on to forums and places like this and spouting facts that can be easily refuted and dis proven.

Submitted by Ekaj on Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hello. I've found this discussion rather interesting and wanted to comment. First of all, let me say that I completely agree with those of you who say that personal preference is what it boils down to. I have never used an iPhone or any other i-device, and I think the main reason for this is the lack of a raised keyboard. I have recently become aware of the separate keyboards that are available for these things, but those are costly and these i-devices are not for me. Having said that though, I just got a Mac Book Air 2 days after Christmas and am really enjoying it. I'm still getting used to a lot of things on here, but I have always been enamored with all this technology. What's more, Apple should be commended all over the place for seeing fit to include Voiceover on all their devices, at no extra cost to the user. I'm finding Voiceover to work great thus far, and it's probably going to get even better. So sorry for being late to the party as it were, but I just wanted to give my take on the matter.

Submitted by Eileen on Saturday, January 25, 2014

First, I would like to thank all those pioneers who are working with developers to make apps more accessible. It is a slow uphill job. I love having options. While the options for the blind are still tiny compared to the sighted world, voice over and talk back have so completely changed the playing field for the blind compared to just a few years ago. I can aford gps, barcode scanning, money recognition, note taking,, and so on and so on. These are things I have been longing for for most of my adult life, but simply could not aford. I suspect for many android users it boils down to a matter of cost. Android phones ar cheaper for both the customer and the phone companieS. i was personally very unsure about using a touch screen. I thought it would be very limmitting and difficult. After two years of using the iphone I have come to realize the touch screen is at the heart of the iphone versitility. How an iphone can go from being a video game, to a book reader, to a braille keyboard which I am using to write this message. I have had the iphone for two years and everytime I think I've maxed out it's uses, someone brilliant comes up with a new app that blows me away. Here's hoping the android plat'form grows and offers more options. Android podcasts disappoint me because they seem focused on completing basic tasks that I could do with my ipone almost as soon as I picked it up. I like being able to turn VO on and off by myself, which is imparative since I share I devices with my sighted family and coworkers with ease. I love the choices currently available in the Apple store both for my needs and for my childrens education. I am still using my iphone 4. It is showing no signs of needing a new battery or any other repair. This is in contrast to several other cell phones we have owned in the past, which seemed designed to fail just before the 2 year contract was completed. Thanks again to everyone working to make accessibility a reality. It's been a life changer for me. smilely

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm an IPhone 5S user myself.
I've not tried Android yet but might give it ago in the future.
As a lot of posters have said it's all about what works for you.
Using an Iphone? Great, I hope it does all you want it to do. using an Android, great, I hope it does all you want it to do.

Heres one thing I don't get though, we have these choices, Android, IOS, voiceover, NVDA, Thunder, narator, Orker. Do you see? What ever works for you is amazing and super and wonderful. Why? Because it works for you and will continyu to work for you in all the tasks you want it to do. So let's realise that everyone has choices they can make and be thankful we do have those choices. 5 years ago we didn't but now we do, and i think it's amazing.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, June 29, 2014

Well. Enjoy your phone. We the one in this group are happy with our iPhone specially when the new iOS 8 will come out.

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